4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

If a friend told you he was going to propose marriage to his girlfriend and wanted the time and setting to be just right, what advice would you give him? Is there a wrong time to propose to someone you’re in love with? Is there a right time? How do you know?

The “fullness of time” refers to an appointed time. It is a time purposefully set to accomplish a prepared task. In Galatians 4, the appointed time refers to the coming of Christ and His redeeming death. Everything that has ever happened in the world, everything still to happen in the world all finds its center in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fullness of time is the point of climax in the story of the world—in your own story and the story of every other person who has ever existed.

In the incarnation of the Messiah, we see not only an affirmation of the historical event, but also its significance for our lives. As important to humanity as the incarnation of Christ was, it becomes significant to us personally as we are, through Christ’s death and resurrection, adopted into God’s family and experience the transformation that a relationship with Him brings. By Christ’s death and subsequent ascension into Heaven to sit on the throne at the right hand of God, those who trust in Him receive the Holy Spirit as a down payment of their inheritance. The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives enables us to experience the benefits of God’s gift of salvation while we’re still on earth—adoption as sons and freedom from sin’s slavery that once held us captive.

• What does it mean to be “under the law”? Can people today still be described this way?

• What does “the fullness of time” communicate to you about God’s plan? About His character?

• Thank God for His great plan and the sending of His Son in the fullness of time. Thank Him for the redemption and adoption He has offered you through Christ. Ask Him for the courage and compassion to make this incredible offer known to others.